The Principal of the Sierra Leone Grammar School Mr Akiwande Lasite has stated that the school will cease being a Government-assisted school and change status to a wholly privately-run one from September this year, no matter what.
Addressing a Parents/Teachers Association meeting at the Murray town school compound on Friday evening, Mr Akiwande Lasite disclosed that effective next academic year, continuing Junior Secondary School (JSS) pupils would pay for a whole year nine hundred and fifteen thousand Leones (Le 915,000) while those continuing at the Senior Secondary School (SSS) level would pay one million and sixty five thousand Leones (Le 1,065, 000).
Reports say Limount College charges around eight hundred and eighty five thousand leones (Le 885,000) for continuing students per term adding up to over two million leones per year.
Mr Lasite did not disclose the fees for new entrants saying simply – they would have to pay “slightly higher”.
The Principal of West Africa’s oldest secondary school said privatising the school was necessary “to make it second to none in Sierra Leone and in Africa for that matter”.
He stated that the school’s Status Review Committee had been changed to the Status Implementation Committee and was poised to “move forward”.
Mr Lasite did not say what they would do if Government again stepped in to prevent the change of status, but sounded emphatic as if to say no mater what they would press ahead with their new status.
The move to privatise one of Sierra Leone’s leading schools has for years been contentious. While the school authorities (the Anglican Church) wants it to be weaned from Government’s breasts, the Ministry of Education has resisted the move, citing how much it has pumped into making the school what it is today and “the non-affordability” by parents of the corresponding fee increase that goes with privatisation.
An official of the Ministry of Education declined to say any more than “Government’s position on Grammar School has not changed”.